June 20, 2008

Monument Valley

Tales from our Southwest USA vacation continue! Grab a comforting beverage and get ready to sit a spell because this post is a LONG one.

When you fly into Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, you are instantly reminded of old western movies, such as John Ford’s Stagecoach, starring John Wayne. The views were incredible from the air.

view of Monument Valley as the plane comes in for a landing

We were greeted at the little landing strip by a Navaho guide with a small bus. Our first stop was to see a traditional mud-packed hogan dwelling and a demonstration of Navaho rug making. The interior picture shows the log support structure. From the air, we were able to spot several hogans still being used today, though most of them are the more modern hexagonal ones with timber sides.

traditional hogan dwelling, with the doorway facing east to greet the morning sun
inside the hogan, a Navajo woman demonstrates rug weaving
wooden timbers comprise the interior structure

We were shuttled to several vantage points for taking pictures of the remarkable rock formations and shopping for Navajo jewelry. I concentrated on the photography and resisted the jewelry. OK, OK – I confess! I broke down and bought a necklace. But it was a bargain!

incredible views of Monument Valley
a sentinel in the desert
one of the mitten buttes in the foreground, with other rock monuments in the distance

There was an older Navajo fellow with his horse stationed at John Ford Point. He would let tourists get on the horse for their picture, but he also rode out to the vantage point for the classic tourist “money shot” of Monument Valley. Who can resist taking lots of pictures of this scene, LOL?

saddling up
posing for visitors to capture their vacation pictures

We had a great time and wished we could have stayed longer. But the morning was history and we had to get back for a slot canyon tour in the afternoon. The return flight to Page gave us more memories of beautiful desert canyon views.

canyon views on the trip back to Page

The next adventure topic will be a walk through Antelope Canyon. Oh my!


  1. Wonderful pictures!!! Happy day sweetie!hughugs

  2. Breathtaking photos...reminds me of our family vacation to the Grand Canyon a few years back...nature is just majestic! Looking forward to your "orange" pictures next weekend for the Brenda Photo Challenge.

    I've enjoyed my visit to your lovely blog, I'll be back...

    have a nice day :)

  3. Thank you so much! I love to take pictures, so I thought I would play along in the Brenda Photo Challenge.

  4. Hi Donna! Thanks so much for stopping by at the Lavender Festival ~ I really enjoyed meeting you and your husband. We will have to get together a little later. Have a lovely day!

  5. It was great to meet you too! Now I can put a face to your name, LOL! I hope that the show was wildly successful for you. There was a great crowd when I was there. When things settle down for you a bit, I would love to get together with you!

  6. Everything looks so red or is that orange? My Mom lives in Arizona~~haven't been yet~~hope I like it~~the desert areas are very pretty but I I rally do not like heat~~there's enough of it here in Louisiana~~and it ain't fun!

  7. Those are colors of the desert - a reddish orange! When you go visit your mom, slather on the lotion because that dry weather will do a number on your skin. Just a little over a week out there, and my normally oily skin was reduced to crackling sandpaper, LOL. And we don't love heat either. That's why we went in April!

  8. I took my sons up there years ago and loved the mittens and three sisters.

    I am reminded of the Marlboro Man commercials when I go there. There is also a majestic, reverent quality to the area. We stayed overnight and I had to make an emergency visit to a grocery store in town. So strange. It was very modern, but nobody talked or looked you in the eye. I felt very strange there. I love Arizona and the beautiful sites. I look forward to seeing more of your photos.

  9. It was a whirlwind to see the valley, and we really wished we had more time to soak it all in. I think the locals get really tired of tourists, and I can't say that I blame them. I would be too! It is a tightknit community, so they know who lives there and who doesn't. It's a two-edge sword. They depend on tourists for their livelihood, but they get tired of the intrusion.

  10. Beautiful, beautiful photos!
    xoxo Nita

  11. Thank you, Nita! I'll be posting more vacation pictures in the weeks ahead. I may post some this afternoon if I get a chance!

  12. These were fun to look at seeing some things that I missed when I was just there for a very quick trip. We went to see the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new school my son was project manager over. I just noticed that you know Nita from Red Tin Heart. I started to follow her before her husband died, I felt so bad for her. I had just lost my Dad with the same type of injury and knew what a shock it must of been. As always love seeing your photos!


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!